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PR(01)34: The EFTA Surveillance Authority clears a Norwegian regional direct transport aid scheme

16.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority  decided on 19 December 2001 not to raise objections to a notification from Norway of a Regional Direct Transport Aid Scheme (“Regional Transportstøtte”). 

The purpose of the scheme is to partly offset additional transport costs of firms located in the northernmost low population density areas of Norway. Additional transport costs mean the extra costs incurred by movements of goods within the borders of Norway. The scheme covers the counties Finnmark, Troms, Nordland and Nord-Trøndelag (except the municipalities Stjørdal, Frosta and Levanger).

The scheme is administered by the counties. Transport compensation is given on the basis of applications from the firms the year after the transport costs were incurred. A firm cannot receive more than 35% of the documented total transport costs eligible for aid as regional transport aid. The aid is payable as a grant towards the costs for transport of goods by rail, road or sea.

The duration of the scheme is from 1 January 2000 until 31 December 2006. The total budget for 2001 is approximately NOK 16 million (approximately EUR 2 million). The estimated number of recipients is 250 enterprises.

The scheme constitutes State aid in the meaning of Article 61(1) of the EEA Agreement but the Authority has concluded that the notified aid qualifies for exemption under Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement as aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities without adversely affecting trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest.

For further information please contact Rolf Egil Tønnessen on tel. +32-2-286 18 56.

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